Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump speaks at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on December 21, 2019. (Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui T./Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

President Trump's Baseless Attacks on Wind Power

Wind power is far more ecofriendly than burning fossil fuels and, more importantly, has the possibility of freeing the U.S. from the economic dependency on fossil fuels.

César Chelala

President Donald Trump always needs an enemy, and no enemy is too small for him. His latest? Wind power. In a speech to the conservative student group Turning Point USA, Trump told the students that he “never understood” the allure of wind power plants. By many accounts, President Trump doesn’t understand the allure of many things.

“I never understood wind,” said Trump. “I know windmills very much, I have studied it better than anybody. I know it is very expensive. They are made in China and Germany, mostly, very few made here, almost none, but they are manufactured, tremendous -if you are into this- tremendous fumes and gases are spewing into the atmosphere. You know we have a world, right?” These words are coming from the person who, more than anybody else, has shown a total disregard for the health of the world.

“So the world is tiny compared to the universe. So tremendous, tremendous amount of fumes and everything. You talk about the carbon footprint, fumes are spewing into the air, right spewing, whether it is China or Germany, it’s going into the air.” This from a person who, more than anybody else, has shown a total disregard for the basic rules of grammar and common sense.

Trump’s misdirected fury against wind power plants isn’t supported by reality. While he is blaming wind power plants for tremendous (one of his favorite words) amounts of carbon pollution, the American Wind Energy Association found that wind farms around the world generated last year enough energy to counteract 200 million tons of carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels.

Suddenly a protector of bird life he also said, referring to wind power plants, “They are noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a mill someday. You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever see in your life. You know, in California, they were killing the bald eagle. If you shoot a bald eagle, they want to put you in jail for 10 years. A windmill will kill many bald eagles. It’s true.” Well, the reality is otherwise.

According to a study published in the 2015 Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematic that has the most recent research data on direct bird mortalities in the U.S., wind turbines kill far fewer birds than cats, buildings or cars. Cats, particularly, are the No. 1 bird killer by a long shot, with an estimated 2.4 billion bird deaths annually. Perhaps, we should start protecting cats, should Mr. Trump, in his zeal to protect birds, decide to eliminate them.

What is behind President Trump’s antagonism to wind power? Some observers claim that the real reason for Trump’s hatred is that approximately a decade and a half ago he bought a gold course in Scotland. He soon learned that an offshore wind farm was being planned nearby. Concerned that this would hurt the views from his golf course, he launched a vitriolic campaign to block the installation of the wind farm.

A prominent local opponent of the golf course was chosen as Scotsman of the Year by Glenfiddich Scotch. As revenge (we must remember that Trump is big on revenge) Trump subsequently banned Glenfiddich Scotch from his properties Tweeting, “Glenfiddich is a joke -should have chosen Andy Murray- U.S. Open & Olympic gold winner – as Top Scot instead of a total loser!” The loser of this battle, however, was him, since he lost a legal battle against the Scottish government and was ordered to pay $290,000 in legal fees.

Other observers think, as many conservatives do, that Trump sees wind mill energy as antagonistic to fossil fuel energy and as a way to challenge climate change activists. Trump ignores that, although wind turbines aren’t totally safe in terms of the emission of toxic fumes, their scale of contamination is much lower than that coming from other more traditional sources of energy.

Wind power has some obvious disadvantages, such as initial cost and a technology that hasn’t yet been fully developed. However, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. Among them are that wind being a natural phenomenon, harvesting its power is a clean, low-polluting way of generating electricity. Unlike other kinds of power plants, wind power is far more ecofriendly than burning fossil fuels and, more importantly, has the possibility of freeing the US from the economic dependency on fossil fuels. By using misinformation as a weapon, Trump may be losing the wind on his back.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
César Chelala

César Chelala

Dr. César Chelala is an international public health consultant, co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award and two national journalism awards from Argentina.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·


'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·


Health Minister Says 'Highly Transmissible' Omicron Hitting Young Children Hard in South Africa

In South Africa's worst-affected province, children under the age of five now make up the second-largest group being admitted to hospitals.

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo